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Does setting "prior" in the classification play a role in the classification algorithm or it just modifies observations in the prior classification step?

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Zeynab Mousavikhamene
Zeynab Mousavikhamene on 19 May 2020
Based on the explanation in the "Algorithm" section here:
It seems that prior probablities are only used to remove datapoints that have zero prior probablity from training data and NOT playing role in the "classification process". Am I right? What does prior probablity is intended to do?

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Answers (1)

Jalaj Gambhir
Jalaj Gambhir on 22 May 2020
No,
Prior Probabilities do affect the classification process. The step mentioned in the algorithm section only removes the training data corresponding to the classes for which the user has provided the prior probabilities as 0.
Prior probabilities are used to normalize the observation weights as stated in the next step here. I also recommend you to go through the references mentioned in the same link for detailed analysis on how SVM works.
Hope this helps!

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Zeynab Mousavikhamene
Zeynab Mousavikhamene on 25 May 2020
Thanks for the responce. I assume if "prior probablity" affect the classification process, it should have mentioned somewhere in matlab when describing SVM like here. Well there are 6 refences some of them are books and I am not sure which part of these refences matlab used for "prior probablity" so it is very unclear where should I look for the answer to my question.

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